View the article here.
A longtime Boston-based Guardian Angel who sent a flurry of e-mails to the group’s leader, Curtis Sliwa, pleading with him to return to the Hub’s crime-ravaged streets, was bounced from the Angels yesterday when they learned he was a Level 2 sex offender.
“It’s a clear violation of our guidelines,” Sliwa told the Herald yesterday after booting the fallen Angel. “We want the public to feel fully assured that the people we’re putting out on the streets qualify to be in our program and are not involved in the criminal justice system.”
Erich L. Kennedy, 35, or “Pitbull,” as he was known, was patrolling Columbus Avenue in Roxbury in the Angels’ signature red jacket and bright red beret early yesterday morning when a concerned citizen called police saying they recognized him as a sex offender, police sources said. Cops followed up and unearthed Kennedy’s criminal record, the sources said.
Efforts to locate Kennedy last night were unsuccessful.
Authorities last night were unable to specify which sex crime Kennedy was convicted of. Sliwa said it happened in 2000 or 2001, long after Kennedy joined the group in the late 1980s.
Sliwa said Kennedy began reaching out to him again about nine months ago. “He was really pumped, really motivated to try to restart the Guardian Angels. It’s a sad loss,” Sliwa said. “He was very motivated to make a difference in Dorchester. Because of this, he forfeits his ability to do so.”
He said anyone who has been convicted of a sexual assault charge cannot join the Guardian Angels.The group also bans anyone convicted of serious crimes or “anything that would trouble police,” Sliwa said.
The Rev. Bruce Wall, an advocate for the Angels in Boston, stood by their anticrime work to date. “This should not cause people to say they can’t do their job,” Wall said. “One apple can’t spoil the whole bunch.”
Wall said the 40 to 50 Guardian Angels candidates recruited in the past two weeks will undergo criminal background checks before they are allowed to hit the street.
Kennedy was a fixture alongside Sliwa when the Guardian Angels hit the streets two weeks ago, walking side by side with him. Kennedy worked nights and was available to patrol by day, Sliwa said.
He said he heard no complaints about Kennedy’s work with the Angels. “Absolutely none,” Sliwa said. “That’s what’s so shocking about this.”
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Fallen Angel shocker: Sex offender kicked out
View the article here.